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State agency denies Hydro One bid to take over Alaska Electric Light & Power

Hydro One’s bid to take over Alaska Electric Light & Power has been denied by the state’s Regulatory Commission, according to documents filed by the agency last week.

Hydro One contends the rejection is in large part a legal technicality, with it being an Ontario-based company and lacking the proper permissions to conduct business in Alaska as a foreign corporation.

Hydro One sought a waiver from the rule, saying AEL&P would actually be managed via the Spokane-based Avista Corp. Avista acquired the Alaskan utility for $170 million in November 2013 before merging with Hydro One last July.

“Because the burden of registration is minor when weighed against the benefit to the public from the additional safeguards afforded by registration and the availability of additional information not otherwise provided … we did not find good cause to waive the requirement,” the Regulatory Commission wrote in its decision.

Hydro One officials have said the company will refile for AEL&P control with proper paperwork in the near future.

AEL&P operates owns and operates four small hydroelectric plants, including the 3.6-MW Annex Creek, 1.6-MW Gold Creel, 6.7-MW Salmon Creek and 14.3-MW Dorothy Lake. The utility also operates the 78-MW Snettisham under a contract with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.

The company says the Hydro One takeover will not impact its power rates, nor will it change the company’s day-to-day operations or employee structure.

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